A full version of our 2015-2016 Vision, Core Components of Instruction, and Strategic Plan can be downloaded here. A summary is available on this page.
We believe that the Humanities are critical contents in the actualization of Social Justice and Equity in students’ lives. As such, we act with the knowledge that every Humanities classroom must equip our students with:
A nationally competitive exploration of the most important questions and issues in their content
A confidence in their own identities that allows them share their voice and opinions with others
A critical appreciation for the perspectives of others
A determination to affect change in the world around them.
In order to reach this vision, we have defined the following four priorities.
We will reach this vision by…
- Priority 1: Believing in a strong vision of rigorous student outcomes to drive our planning and execution
- Priority 2: Developing our daily planning and execution skills to encourage student expression and collaboration
- Priority 3: Generating a shared vision with students and measuring our progress towards that vision
- Priority 4: Sharing video and evidence from our classrooms to create a vulnerable, caring, and supportive Humanities Team oriented towards constant learning.
Given this vision and these priorities, we have developed the following Academic Scope and Sequences for our Students.
We believe that these Scope and Sequences will hold us and our students accountable to ensuring the following Core Components of Instruction are always taking place in our classrooms.
Students express themselves daily.
Students’ voices are powerful because they are unique and rooted in a deep understanding of content. In Humanities classrooms, students are engaging with the content in order to express themselves. They believe that their voice matters, and that they have the skills and unique perspectives to express their voice in impactful ways. Students regularly have the opportunity to make their voices heard, and are invested in doing so because they believe their voice matters.
Every day, no matter what grade-level or content, students are getting an opportunity to share their findings, ideas, realizations, opinions, or creative expressions. They do so with the awareness that their expression (verbal, artistic, musical, or written) must be justified and communicable as a series of choices. Whether they are learning a new language, analyzing Texts, performing, or creating, students are learning the content in order to use their voice more confidently. They are proud to share their perspectives with peers, teachers, and the outside world.
Students connect the daily lesson to lifelong learning and the fight for Social Justice.
Students are aware of the differences between their own educations and those of students in more affluent parts of the country, understand that part of that inequality is exemplified by their lack of opportunities in the Humanities, and advocate for change every day. The Humanities are where students learn to connect with each other, with themselves, and with the world beyond the classroom. These are life-long skills that many students in our nation are not getting, and our students should are aware of this as a social justice issue.
The Humanities, in conjunction with other contents, are uniquely poised to help us see the changes we want to lead towards in the world. Whether it is through an examination of history, a different culture, or a national social issue, we can identify the patterns of inequity in our world in our Humanities classrooms. We can create unique connections with other contents as well, bringing together different threads from other areas. We can accumulate the tools and skills to start to make that change.
As such, we seek to ensure that our learning is comparable with the rigorous learning that is offered to students of our grade-level and content across the nation. Students work together because they benefit from hearing one another’s thoughts and they believe that helping one another brings us closer to actualizing equity. Students strive daily to learn because they want to actualize their own educational equity. They measure their progress towards their goals, and celebrate their progress. Our daily classroom instruction promotes an intrinsic joy for learning, a passion for the content, and an ability to connect today’s learning to the outside world.
Students engage with complex, grade-appropriate texts that represent a variety of perspectives.
All students, regardless of grade-level or content, have the opportunity to analyze and interpret a variety of Texts that represent a variety of perspectives. By analyzing many perspectives, students evaluate and understand different outlooks on the world. Students build their appreciation of themselves and of the world through looking at texts that act as “mirrors” to their own identities and affirm the value of their unique voices. Simultaneously, students analyze Texts that are “windows” into the cultures and identities of others, building empathy and understanding for the value of other culture. Throughout it all, they listen to one another because they value the perspectives and learning of their classmates.